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Director’s Brief: Concerts—The Biggest Adrenaline Rush

by Karen Azenberg

It is, possibly, an act of madness to direct one of our concerts.

No, really. I’m trying to accomplish in 12 days what we usually do in 27.

So, less than half the time but still the same amount of show.

True, the actors don’t have to memorize their lines—but they still have to know them pretty well. The script in hand is a safety net, otherwise their noses would be stuck in their binders and the audience wouldn’t see their faces. They still have to learn all the blocking and have it make sense; the lighting designer still has to write a couple hundred light cues; the musical director still has to teach all of the songs—all of the harmonies, all of the different vocal lines.

We like to call it kamikaze theatre. Throw it up and see what happens.

But now that I’ve made it sound crazy, let me say it’s also the biggest adrenaline rush. It has a you-never-know-what-might-happen energy. A process like this takes full advantage of the excitement that live theatre can impart. It is thrilling.

In addition, In the Heights is a great piece of theatre, steeped in culture, community and heritage. You don’t have to be Latino to love it.

I hope to see you here tonight!

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